The Suffolk Coast
  • Couple on Nacton Shore - Photograph by Emily Fae

Top 5 Unusual Valentines Activities

Cupid’s bow is poised and ready to fill hearts with affection this Valentine’s Day, but candle lit dinners, a night at the cinema, and countryside walks can start to wear a little thin with even the hardened romantics among us!

Here's our pick of the top 5 alternative activities to keep you all loved up on Valentine’s Day… 

1. Build a Love Nest

13th – 17th February is National Nestbox Week so come along with your beloved to RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve and make your own love nest... for birds!

Take some wood, a hammer and nails and get building! Not only will you be testing your hammering skills, but your bird knowledge as well. Afterwards, you can take your nestbox home with you; a lasting memory of your romantic day together! The cost is just £5 per nestbox, plus usual reserve entry fees. No booking required.

2. There is no sincerer love, than the love of food

 What better way to spend a few hours with your loved one than kneading dough at a Pizza Masterclass hosted by Two Magpies Bakery in Southwold (22nd and 23rd February). Choose a topping to tantilise your taste buds, before watching your creation bake in the oven. Once it's cooked, sit in the cafe and toast your hard work with a glass of wine and enjoy the fruits of your labour; a pizza masterpiece!

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3. Get your heart racing

Fast track your love-life this Valentine’s Day and head over to Beacon  Rally Karts at Beacon Farm, close to the Suffolk market town of Woodbridge. There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as speeding along in an open framed rally kart, sitting just inches from the ground.

At Beacon Farm you can choose between 3 different tracks ranging in size and difficulty – Challenge your beloved to cross the finish line first... And the romantic bit? Your loved one will need a lot of consoling when they lose! 

4. Woo at the Zoo

A visit to Africa Alive! in Kessingland, near Lowestoft is sure to stir up your animal instincts! The park is open daily (even during winter months) from 9.30am to 4pm. 

This year you can book a Meet the Meercats Experience for just £25 per couple (excludes admission). You will enter their enclosure with one of the keepers and watch them feed all around you! This experience must be booked on the day of your visit subject to availability, weather and circumstances. For more information call Guest Information on 01502 740291 or email info@africa-alive.co.uk


TTDA - Africa Alive - Meerkat

5. Beach Retreat

There is nowhere more romantic than a deserted beach, and on The Suffolk Coast we have miles upon miles of them! Wrap yourselves up in layers of winter woollies, take something to sit on and pack up a picnic complete with a big flask of hot soup! Re-live your childhood by making your own fairy tale sandcastle, then carve your names into the sand before you leave…

For an extra special treat, why not whisk your loved one away for the night, check out our Top Spots for a Romantic Weekend

Things to see and do


Southwold Pier

Southwold Pier

Southwold

Southwold is a popular destination for the many visitors to the East Coast and its most prominent attraction, the pier, hosts a wide range of things to see and do.

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Landguard Fort

Landguard Fort

Felixstowe

Discover the rich military and maritime heritage of Landguard Fort, one of England's best preserved coastal defences, with a history spanning almost 450 years. 

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Sailing Barge Cruises

Sailing Barge Cruises

Ipswich

Relaxing Orwell River Cruises on board the vintage sailing barges, Thistle, Hydrogen and Kitty.

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RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

Westleton

Discover nature together on the beautiful Suffolk coast. Wander among the wetlands and woods, potter along the beach, and pause to watch some amazing wildlife. Explore the Wild Zone with the family, then sample some delicious home-cooked, locally-sourced food in the cafe.

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Aldeburgh Beach Lookout and Art House

Aldeburgh Beach Lookout and Art House

Aldeburgh

Isolated yet at the heart of cultural innovation, it is a magical and stimulating setting for artists to respond each in their own fascinating way.

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Aldeburgh Cinema

Aldeburgh Cinema

Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh Cinema: the very best of world cinema at the heart of the local community since 1919. Providing a programme of film screenings, live shows and special event;  independent, inspirational, meaningful, fun.

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Free wifi


Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a stunning landscape packed full with wildlife and exciting places to explore and discover. There's something for everyone with 155 square miles of tranquil and unspoilt landscape including wildlife-rich estuaries, ancient heaths, windswept shingle beaches and historic towns and villages.

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Beaches

Beaches

Whether you’re in search of a great family day out, a birdwatching haven, or trip back in time, the beaches along the Suffolk Coast will provide you with a memorable day out whatever the time of year.

In the winter, Suffolk's beaches take on a whole new persona; with windswept dunes, crashing waves, and bracing winds, they are the perfect place to blow away the cobwebs, stroll hand in hand with your loved one, or enjoy a solitary dog walk.


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Beacon Rally Karts

Beacon Rally Karts

Woodbridge

Beacon Rally Karts is a great place to enjoy fast, furious, four-wheeled fun. Head out to Beacon Farm in Martlesham, close to the Suffolk market town of Woodbridge and you’ll be warmly greeted by Phil and Louise Abbott; owners of the farm and the karting circuit. They moved to the farm in 1992, started the racing business and have never looked back since.

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Africa Alive!

Africa Alive!

Kessingland

At Africa Alive!, explore the sights and sounds of Africa and discover lions, giraffes, meerkats, hunting dogs and many more animals from the African continent.

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National Trust Sutton Hoo

National Trust Sutton Hoo

Woodbridge

Discover the story of the Anglo-Saxons at the burial ground of kings

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

events


Pizza Masterclasses at Two Magpies Bakery

Pizza Masterclasses at Two Magpies Bakery

Southwold |

Learn how to make and shape a sourdough pizza in this masterclass at Two Magpies Bakery in Southwold.

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WHERE TO EAT


The Crown at Woodbridge

The Crown at Woodbridge

Woodbridge

Situated at the top of the bustling Thoroughfare, in Woodbridge, Suffolk.

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Free wifi


Two Magpies Bakery

Two Magpies Bakery

Southwold

Situated Southwold’s High Street, The Two Magpies Bakery has become a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike.

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Dog friendly


Cleone's Italian Restaurant

Cleone's Italian Restaurant

Cleone's Italian Restaurant - named after the original Maitre D' - was established at The Angel in Halesworth in the Spring of 1995. From the outset, the aim has been to offer seasonal menus featuring classic dishes from Italy's extremely varied culinary regions - but most importantly, to prepare every dish in the typical 'home style' Italian way.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible


The White Lion Bar & Brasserie Bleue

The White Lion Bar & Brasserie Bleue

Aldeburgh

Inspired by a modern desire to return to simple, 'back to basics' food and impeccable service, offering freshly prepared dishes in contemporary surroundings. 

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible


Beccles Station Cafe and Community Rooms

Beccles Station Cafe and Community Rooms

Beccles station cafe and community rooms are under the umbrella of the Beccles and District Regeneration Company which is a charity being run by volunteers for the community. The station buildings include a cafe, offices and community rooms to rent out.

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Sea Spice

Sea Spice

Taking lead from the ancient Spice Route and Aldeburgh’s historic role as a valued Tudor port, Sea Spice unites local Suffolk produce with classic Indian flavours originating over 4,000 miles away. 

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Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant

Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant

Orford

Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant provides a unique and exciting dining experience offering brunch and a la carte lunch or dinner cruises from Orford Quay, Orford, Suffolk.

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Dog friendly


South Kiosk at Martello Park

South Kiosk at Martello Park

A hop skip and a jump from Felixstowe Beach, Suffolk, South Kiosk is described as a 'Great little find' by customers reviews on TripAdvisor. Home made baked goods and cake, organic juices, fruit smoothies and ice cream. Dog friendly, with plenty of outside seating and a picnic area.

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible


The Anchor

The Anchor

The Anchor is a traditional quayside pub run by a tight knit team more like a small family. They produce all meals freshly on the premises, sourcing as many ingredients as locally as possible.

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Free wifi


The Table

The Table

The Table is a relaxed brasserie style restaurant in a lovely setting ideal for hosting light lunches, family gatherings, romantic dinners, street food events, coffee and cake, special celebrations and more.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible


The Riverside Restaurant & Theatre

The Riverside Restaurant & Theatre

The Riverside Restaurant in Woodbridge is a privately owned restaurant (since 1985) with an independent cinema. Renowned for the fashionable trendy style and daily written menus, as quoted by The Financial Times "The right side of casual". Whether you choose to dine or combine a cinema ticket, you will enjoy your experience!

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible


The Firestation Cafe, Bar & Coffee Roasters

The Firestation Cafe, Bar & Coffee Roasters

Woodbridge

A small cafe and bar serving delicious coffee, cocktails, snacks and rather impressively roasting their own coffee!

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Free wifi Dog friendly


The Ship Inn, Levington

The Ship Inn, Levington

Ipswich

Idyllic country pub situated on the banks of the River Orwell, with a delicious local menu and an excellent range of Adnams beers, wines and spirits. 

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible


The Food Hub Cookery School

The Food Hub Cookery School

Framlingham

Whether you are an amateur cook or a food enthusiast let these courses inspire you.

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Free wifi


Cookhouse Restaurant at Suffolk Food Hall

Cookhouse Restaurant at Suffolk Food Hall

Ipswich

The Cookhouse Restaurant is a unique place to eat or have a drink whilst enjoying stunning views down the river.

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Free wifi Dog friendly


Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant

Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant

Ipswich

Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant provides a unique and exciting dining experience offering 2 hour Brunch and 3 hour A la Carte Lunch, Sunset Supper or Candlelit Dinner Cruises. Serving freshly prepared on board wholesome food and drinks.

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The Sweffling White Horse

The Sweffling White Horse

A traditional pub in the village of Sweffling near Saxmundham and East Anglia Pub of the Year 2015

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Free wifi Dog friendly


farm cafe + shop

farm cafe + shop

The farm cafe + shop, Marlesford is an oasis on the A12 a few miles from Woodbridge.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible


The Crown and Castle

The Crown and Castle

The Crown and Castle is renowned for a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere that allows guests to enjoy their surroundings and feel free to take their time.

Winner of *Sawday's British Hotel Award 2017 for Fabulous Food*

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Dog friendly


The King's Head (The Low House)

The King's Head (The Low House)

The King's Head in Laxfield (known locally as the 'Low House'), is a wonderfully unique pub famous for being without a bar.

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Free wifi Dog friendly


View Point Cafe

View Point Cafe

View Point Cafe is a warm and friendly cafe with both indoor and outdoor seating serving all day breakfasts, snacks, fish and chips, 'dish of the day', cakes, ice cream, teas and coffees.

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible


Giddens & Thompson Greengrocers

Giddens & Thompson Greengrocers

Bungay

Purveyors of high quality Fruit and Vegetables

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Free wifi


Pinney's of Orford

Pinney's of Orford

Established in 1959, Pinney's of Orford are a 3rd generation family run business that specialise in producing fine quality smoked products due to the experience and understanding that they have gained over the years in both fishing and smoking.

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Southwold Pier - The Boardwalk, Beach Cafe and Clockhouse

Southwold Pier - The Boardwalk, Beach Cafe and Clockhouse

Southwold

Southwold Pier has a fabulous choice of restaurants and cafes to fill the gap from breakfast, through to morning coffee and pastries, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner!

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Free wifi Dog friendly


The Ufford Crown

The Ufford Crown

Woodbridge

The Ufford Crown is a Michelin recommended, family run pub and restaurant in the village of Ufford, near Woodbridge, run by Polly and Max Durrant and Head Chef Will Hardiman.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible


The Ramsholt Arms

The Ramsholt Arms

Woodbridge

The Ramsholt Arms is a popular riverside pub and dining room, situated on the banks of the river Deben. The pub is recommended in the Michelin guide and in July 2015 was voted one of the top 20 places to dine alfresco in the UK by the Sunday Times.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible


The Crown Hotel Southwold

The Crown Hotel Southwold

Southwold

The Adnams Crown Hotel is situated in The High Street, in the heart of Southwold. The atmosphere is always buzzing with a lively informality.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible


The Granary Teashop and Café 1885 at Snape Maltings

The Granary Teashop and Café 1885 at Snape Maltings

Snape

Delicious local produce, breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea set in one of the coast's most stunning landscapes at Snape Maltings

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Free wifi


Café Bencotto

Café Bencotto

Offering Mediterranean style fayre, Café Bencotto's sophisticated yet informal interior complements the food freshly prepared in the open plan kitchen.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible


Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop

Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop

Traditional family run fish and chip shop since 1967, offering Cod, Haddock, Plaice, Scampi and more with chips made from locally sourced potatoes. Located a short walk from the beach to enjoy fish and chips 'The Aldeburgh Way'.

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The Alex Café Bar & Brasserie

The Alex Café Bar & Brasserie

Offering panoramic sea views, The Alex has a fabulous seafront setting just across from the promenade in Felixstowe where you can watch the world go by whilst enjoying great food and drink!

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible


The Ship at Dunwich

The Ship at Dunwich

Dunwich

There's plenty to enjoy on The Ship's menu from: pie of the day, slow-cooked pork belly, or roast red onion tart through to traditional English puddings like sticky toffee, pear and blackberry crumble and much more, accompanied by good wines at sensible prices, or proper beers and ales - including Adnams and a range of guest ales.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible


The Fludyers Hotel and Restaurant

The Fludyers Hotel and Restaurant

The Fludyers offers a variety of dining options with food served all day in either the bar or restaurant and when the weather permits on the substantial terrace overlooking the sea.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible


Salthouse Eaterie 

Salthouse Eaterie

The popularity of the waterside Eaterie makes it a destination for many Suffolk locals. The dishes are modern & always surprise with a curious twist of something deliciously different.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible


Thorpeness Golf Club and Hotel - Restaurant and Bar

Thorpeness Golf Club and Hotel - Restaurant and Bar

The restaurant offers a more traditional dining experience with fresh local produce complimenting the daily changing menu.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible


The Swan Hotel

The Swan Hotel

Executive Chef Rory Whelan and the team have a great relationship with local farmers and fishermen to ensure the menus are fresh, seasonal and locally-sourced. 

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible


The Westleton Crown

The Westleton Crown

Dunwich

Head Chef at The Westleton Crown restaurant, James Finch, and his highly skilled team pride themselves on their imaginative and varied menus which have earned us an AA 2 Rosette restaurant award, as well as a considerable reputation.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible


Brudenell Seafood & Grill 

Brudenell Seafood & Grill

Aldeburgh

The Seafood & Grill restaurant has panoramic sea views from every table with a décor that is inspired by the vibrant colours that can be found on the Suffolk coast throughout the year.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible


Felixstowe Spa - The Lounge  & The Terrace

Felixstowe Spa - The Lounge & The Terrace

Two fabulous seaview venues in one stunning location! The Lounge is a first floor carpeted space with panoramic views of the sea, Felixstowe Pier and the maritime traffic to Harwich & Felixstowe Ports.

At promenade level there is also The Terrace; a cosy beachside venue with plentiful outdoor seating and a Mediterranean ambience with the sea views framed by palm trees.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible